London 1887 and a young girl, Valentine Grey, arrives in England. She's been brought up in the remote and sunny climes of India and finds being forced into corsets and skirts in damp and cold country insufferable. The only bright spot: her exciting cousin, Reggie. Reggie, and his lover Frank seek out the adventure the clandestine bars and streets of London offer and are happy to include Valentine in their secret, showing her theatre, gardens - even teaching her how to ride a bicycle. And then comes the Boer War and Reggie's father volunteers him; the empire must be defended. But it won't be Reggie who dons the Volunteer Regiment's garb. Valentine takes her chance, puts on her cousin's uniform, leaving Reggie behind and heads off to war. And for a long while it's glorious and liberating for both of the cousins, but war is not glorious and in Victorian London homosexuality is not liberating ...
From one of the nation's best-loved people comes a quite wonderful novel about gender, liberty, empire and injustice.
After leaving Cambridge, Sandi Toksvig went into theatre as a writer and performer and was a founder member of the Comedy Store Players. Well known for her television and radio work as a presenter, writer and actor, she has written books for children and adults. She has also written plays and her film, The Man, starring Stephen Fry and Zoe Wannamaker will be broadcast on Sky Arts in spring 2012. She will be on tour with Valentine, a one-woman show for six weeks at the time of publication of Valentine Grey.